English

  • Internship Mind Map, Goals, Skills, Experience, Mentor, Network

    English 494 & 494IP

Internship Program

The English department’s internship program offers students opportunities to gain professional experience in a variety of fields, including, but not limited to

  • publishing
  • copywriting
  • marketing
  • public relations
  • human resources
  • community outreach
  • fundraising
  • grant writing
  • education
  • journalism
  • law
  • politics
  • corporate communications

Research shows that internships improve a student’s chance of full-time work after graduation and often lead to higher salaries. Interns produce writing samples and build strong résumés.  Do a great job and boost your GPA—our internship class earns a letter grade. 

Let us help you transfer the skills you’ve gained through education to experiences that will boost success in the workplace. 

How to Start Your Internship

  1. Register for English 494 and 494IP.  If the class is full, email the instructor to discuss whether you might still be able to enroll.
  2. Think about what you'd like to do for your internship. Consider your career and educational goals.  What are your strongest qualifications and skills? What experience and skills are you hoping to gain? 
  3. Search for an internship.  Look at our lists of featured on and off campus host sites, register with the CSUN SUNlink database of internships (you’ll need to create a new user ID and password—your normal CSUN login will not work), and browse other websites posted under our resources link.
  4. Schedule a conference with the English department's Internship Coordinator: email kimberly.wells@csun.edu
  5. Customize your resume and cover letter for the positions you want. Apply guidelines from the materials on our resources page and take advantage of services at the CSUN Career Center.
  6. Apply to positions and prepare for your interviews—research the professional field, the organization, make sure you have the appropriate attire, map out your route to the interview to make sure you arrive a few minutes early, and gather anything you’ll need to bring (e.g. extra copies of your résumé, writing samples, and references). 
  7. Follow up with the person who interviewed you—send a thank you note!

Featured Internships

Our program has relationships with internship host sites both on and off the CSUN campus.  This list does not limit your internship options—consider it a resource at your disposal.  Please click the links or email kimberly.wells@csun.edu to learn more about the internship opportunities listed here. 

 

On Campus Internships:

Office of Human Resources

Catalog Production

College of Humanities Grant Writing

University Advancement Marketing and Communications

HSI Pathways to the Professoriate

Oviatt Library E-News

Woman’s Research and Resource Center

Office of Community Engagement

Athletic Media Relations

 

Off Campus Internships:

Family Promise of the Verdugos

Tia Chucha Press: Blogging Internship & PR Internship

Los Angeles Valley College

Creative Age Publications

California Wedding Day Magazine

San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission

de Toledo High School

Northridge Academy High School

First Presbyterian Preparatory School

iHeartMedia

Melrose PR

Off The Wall Graffiti

Resources: Search Sites, Résumés, Cover Letters, Interviews, and Other Essential Guides

When searching for an internship, our program requires job duties to focus on writing and communication.    Consider your commute to the position too. You must stick to your commitment for the entire semester—don't take on more than you can handle.  Each of our interns leaves a lasting impression of CSUN with the host organization, so spread the Matador pride!

When seeking guidance on job application materials, interviewing, and general professional conduct—you will receive conflicting advice.  Confer with professionals in your chosen field and stay aware of the most recent norms. 

Internship Search:

CSUN Career Center's SUNlink (create a new account—CSUN username and password will not work)

Los Angeles County Arts Commission

The Anonymous Production Assistant (scroll to the bottom of the page for internship postings)

Teamwork Online (sports careers)

Entertainment Careers

Federal Jobs Database (use "student trainee" as well as "intern" to search)

Artistic/Literary Possibilities (click links to search the organizations’ sites for internships)

Craigslist

Monster

WayUp

Glassdoor

Idealist

Center Theatre Group

Red Hen Press

NBC Universal

iHeartMedia

Melrose PR

Off The Wall Graffiti 

JusticeCorps

 

Résumés:

Résumé Checklist

Basic Résumé Guide from AfterCollege

Detailed Résumé Guide from Virginia Tech

Sample Résumés – Fictional or Names and Contact Information Removed

Sample Student Résumé #1

Sample Student Résumé #2

Sample Student Résumé #3

Sample Professional Résumé

 

Cover Letters:

Cover Letter Checklist

How to Write a Cover Letter People Will Actually Read from The New York Times

Cover Letters in the Age of Email from Forbes

Sample Cover Letter with Formal Address Heading for Print or Email Attachment

Sample Cover Letter in the Body of an Email

Sample Cover Email—Use When Attaching a Formal Cover Letter to an Email

 

Interviews:

Basic Interview Guide from WayUp

Detailed Interview Guide from Virginia Tech

How to Ace a Phone Interview from Forbes

Advice for Group Interviews from Work It Daily

Interview Attire from Virginia Tech

How to Build Instant Rapport in an Interview from The Wall Street Journal

 

Other Essential Readings:

The Wall Street Journal Career Guide

How to Request a Letter of Recommendation from Northeastern University

The 4 habits that derail you from being a great listener from LinkedIn

What Employers Want from Inside Higher Ed

How to Dress Like an Adult from The New York Times

Read This Story Without Distraction (Can You?) from The New York Times

8 Things Smart People Never Reveal About Themselves at Work from LinkedIn

11 Horrible Body-language Habits from Business Insider

An Introvert’s Guide to Networking from The New York Times

Top Employers Say Millennials Need These 4 Skills in 2017 from Forbes

Examples of Interns' Work

Here are some examples of the awesome work the interns have accomplished in our program! Click the links to view their projects.

Bronwyn Stewart - Oviatt Libary eNews - "We Would Like You to Meet: Raul Buenfil"

Breanne Foster - LAFD Communications Dept - "Remembering Fire Fighter Specialist Craig Foster"

Bryce Hicks - LEVEL by TNT - Facebook link & Twitter feed

Dana Loth - Nailpro.com - Nail Art TutorialAcrylic Water Nail TutorialPurple on the RunwayNew Polish and Gel Collections, & Marble Stone Mani    Nailitmag.com - Ellagee Lickity SplitBelle IL Fiore's New ManiMelissa Collado, & Blobbicure Giraffe

Hannah Lien - NailPro.com - Laverne Cox article & Valentine's day feature 

Kaleigh Tuso - CSUN English Department - English Department Flyers

Luc LeFrancois - EchoPlex Tumblr'needtoknow' articlewhat they sound like & Regent Theater Tumblr

Sharaya Olmeda - San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission - Facebook link

Ugochi Obinma - Sundial - Con-Education in Social MediaLife of former Sundial Publisher article, & Coachella Inspired clothing Line article                                 

Gomatadors.com - Marcus Brady articleLike Father, Like Son(s)Ashley Guay article, & Women's Basketball team article

Wafa Azeem - CSUN Shine Weekly 

Internship and Employment Data

Figure 1: Job offer rates and starting salary offers, by type of internship/co-op experience

PAY 
STATUS

EMPLOYER TYPE

APPLIED

RECEIVED OFFER

OFFER RATE

MEDIAN STARTING SALARY OFFERS

Paid

Private, for-profit company

1,015

733

72.2%

$53,521

Nonprofit organization

178

92

51.7%

$41,876

State or local government agency

101

51

50.5%

$42,693

Federal government agency

42

26

61.9%

$48,750

Unpaid

Private, for-profit company

253

111

43.9%

$34,375

Nonprofit organization

299

124

41.5%

$31,443

State or local government agency

139

47

33.8%

$32,969

Federal government agency

30

15

50.0%

$42,501

No internship or co-op

941

343

36.5%

$38,572


Source: Class of 2015 Student Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

Figure 2: Attributes employers seek on a candidate’s resume

ATTRIBUTE

PERCENTAGE OF RESPONDENTS

Ability to work in a team

78.0%

Problem-solving skills

77.3%

Communication skills (written)

75.0%

Strong work ethic

72.0%

Communication skills (verbal)

70.5%

Leadership

68.9%

Initiative

65.9%

Analytical/quantitative skills

64.4%

Flexibility/adaptability

63.6%

Detail-oriented

62.1%

Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)

58.3%

Technical skills

56.8%

Computer skills

49.2%

Organizational ability

47.7%

Strategic planning skills

37.9%

Friendly/outgoing personality

25.8%

Tactfulness

25.8%

Creativity

21.2%

Entrepreneurial skills/risk-taker

19.7%

Fluency in a foreign language

4.5%

Source: Job Outlook 2017, National Association of Colleges and Employers

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the internship program a class?

Yes. English 494 and 494IP are the courses you enroll in to join the program. The two classes, combined, are worth three units of college credit. The class meets for three weeks at the beginning of the semester.  Students also attend two individual conferences with the internship class instructor—one before the start of the semester to identify internship opportunities and a second conference at mid-term.  At the end of the semester, students submit a final portfolio.

Are there any prerequisites?

No. However, it is highly recommended that students who lack professional writing experience take either English 205, English 306, or English 407. The writing done in these classes exposes students to professional writing genres and conventions.

Can I take another class that meets at the same time as English 494IP?

Probably not. Even though we do not meet regularly as a class after the first three weeks, experience has shown that students have trouble fulfilling their obligations when enrolled in two classes meeting concurrently. If you think you may qualify for an exception, please complete the Time Conflict Enrollment Petition

Is the class portion mandatory to earn course credit for an internship?

Yes.  The class is an important part of what qualifies your internship as an educational experience, allowing you to earn college credit at an accredited institution. 

Do I have to be an English major?

No. We welcome students from all disciplines. 

Does the internship count toward a degree in English?

Yes.  If you are taking the English internship class, but are majoring in another field of study, consider completing a minor in English.  English 494/IP is a core requirement for our Writing and Rhetoric option

If I’m not an English major, can I take English 494/IP instead of the required internship class in my major?

Maybe. Ask the advisor from your department if they will allow English 494/IP to substitute for their internship requirement. If your academic department grants a substitution or waiver, they will need to submit it to Undergraduate Degree Services.   

Can I double count the internship hours I am doing for my credential?

No.  According to CSUN’s Academic Internship Policy, internship hours cannot include supervised student teaching, required work in credential pathways, or clinical experiences. However, you might be able to do all of your hours at the same host site.  Contact your internship instructor to find out more.

Am I guaranteed an internship?

No.  Students search, with instructor input, for an appropriate position.  Everyone is encouraged to apply for multiple positions to increase chances of securing an internship by the class drop date, which is usually the third week of class.

Is there anyone who will help me find an internship?

Yes.  The internship class instructor can direct you toward internship host sites.  We have ongoing relationships with organizations on and off campus and are always discovering new opportunities.  Be sure to also take advantage of the resources posted to the internship program website as well as the CSUN Career Center.

Can I find my own internship?

Yes. Before applying, discuss the position with your instructor.  If it will work with our program, and you are hired, we will need to make sure the organization is on CSUN’s list of approved campus partners.

Can I work at an internship that is not an approved campus partner?

No.  However, if you start the process early enough, your instructor can help the organization where you want work contract with CSUN.  Please keep in mind that not all organizations meet university standards for approved campus partners.

Is there a minimum number of hours required?

Yes. Students must work at least 100 hours in an internship during the semester.  We encourage students to average 8 – 10 hours a week to maximize the internship learning experience while balancing other school responsibilities.  Students set a mutually agreeable schedule with their internship supervisors.

Can I work remotely?

Sometimes. Internships that are 100% remote will not qualify for our program and most internships will require you to remain onsite. Our program requires students to have regular interaction with professionals in the organization and enough work to keep you busy.  However, our program does not require interns to be supervised constantly.  If you and your internship supervisor agree that some of your intern duties can be performed offsite, those arrangements may be acceptable.  Check with your instructor.

Can I intern on campus?

Yes. Many students in our program intern on campus. Positions are available in grant writing, fundraising, editing, human resources, journalism, social media management, public relations, marketing and more.

Will I be doing “real” work?

Yes. The bulk of the duties you perform should be college level, incorporating communication in some way. Of course, most interns and employees are expected to wear many hats—so other responsibilities can be part of the internship, especially if it helps you gain a better understanding of the profession.  You should not be asked to spend most of your time filing, answering phones, making copies, or other simple tasks.

Will I get paid?

Maybe.  Paid internships are very competitive.  Most students in the internship program work for course credit only.  Regardless of pay, the benefits of the internship are the experience and skills gained, professional contacts and mentoring, and (ideally) a portfolio of writing samples.  Some interns even receive job offers—from both paid and unpaid internships.  Federal laws regulate pay for internships in the for-profit sector. 

Can I intern over the summer?

No—at least not with our program. English 494/494IP is offered only during the fall and spring semesters.

Can I take the class more than once?

Yes. English 494/IP can be taken up to two times for credit. Please check with your academic advisor to understand how this class will fit into your graduation plan. 

Can I take the class if I am a graduate student?

Yes. Graduate students are welcome to enroll in the internship program, but you'll have to fill out a 400 level class consent form to earn credit toward graduation.

Can undocumented students benefit from enrolling in English 494/IP?

Yes. While the instructor will have no way of identifying students’ documentation status, meaning individual students would decide whether to reveal their documentation status or not, we encourage all CSUN students interested in writing focused internships to enroll.  Our program will use campus resources to provide safe options for DACA and Non-DACA students alike to gain professional experience during these uncertain times. CSUN’s EOP Dream Center offers additional resources for undocumented students.

Can International Students benefit from enrolling in English 494/IP?

Yes. Our program works with international students to find internships both on and off campus.  If you are an international student applying for paid internships, please contact the International and Exchange Student Center to learn more about the required process.